Harnessing the Data Revolution: The US National Science Foundation’s “Big Ideas”

Dr Alexis Lewis1, Dr Eva Campo1

1National Science Foundation, Alexandria, USA


In 2017, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) published “Ten Big Ideas” for Future Investment. Harnessing the Data Revolution is a national-scale activity designed to enable new modes of data-driven discovery to address fundamental questions at the frontiers of science and engineering. The HDR vision is realized through an interrelated set of efforts in the foundations of data science, data-intensive science and engineering, data cyberinfrastructure, and education and workforce development.

We will discuss the NSF programs that support efforts around Harnessing the Data Revolution, spanning the range from large, nationwide Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering to individual efforts to support community engagement across all scientific disciplines. Of particular interest is the potential to collaborate with agencies outside of the US to broaden the impact of these activities and engage the worldwide scientific research and education communities.


Alexis Lewis is the Program Director for Data Initiatives in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation, Directorate for Engineering, at the US National Science Foundation (NSF). Her programs support research and community activities that promote, develop, and employ data-driven approaches to scientific discovery, robust data infrastructure, and sound data management practices. She holds SB, MSE and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering, and worked as a Materials Research Engineer prior to joining NSF in 2014.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.